One of the biggest needs in the church today is parent ministry. How can we equip parents to be better spiritual disciplers of their children?
Most parents do not feel adequate enough to disciple their kids and most of this inadequacy comes from a lack of training. As one parent once told me, “I’m just not sure how to disciple my kids.” Or, the problem is that parents do not feel equipped to evaluate discipleship resources for their families, so they end up not using any of these helpful resources at all.
Are you in a similar situation at your church? Many churches want to help parents, but they don’t know where to start. Or some churches just need a few ideas to guide them to the next step in their ministry to parents. Either way, it will be helpful to take a look at these 5 ways to equip parents in your church:
1. Family Devotionals: Does your church provide family devotionals? Some children’s and youth curriculum come with short family devotionals, while other churches might need to find family devotionals that they can give the parents in the church. I recommend sending family devotionals via email through an email service like Mailchimp. Once you’ve spent a few hours learning how to use Mailchimp, it should take less than an hour each week to create the email with a family devotional in it. That’s a small time investment for a significant impact. If you want to get more parents on board with these devotionals from the beginning, ask your senior pastor to share about the devotionals on a Sunday morning(s).
2. Newsletters: One of my favorite methods for equipping parents is a monthly family newsletter. In this newsletter, you can add recommendations for your favorite parenting articles, podcasts, books, and more! A family newsletter also gives you the opportunity to share about different outreach opportunities and parenting events that your church will be involved in. Here’s an example of a family newsletter that I sent out to the parents in our church earlier this year.
3. Resource Recommendations: Most parents are interested in parenting resources, but many of them don’t know how to find these resources. Creating simple lists of helpful books, websites, podcasts, etc. can be helpful for parents. There are also some ministry resource providers who create packages of parent resources that you can purchase and give to all of the parents in your church, such as Homepointe, ParentMinistry, and others. In case you’re curious, here’s an example of a church who posts their resource recommendations on their website.
4. Parenting Education: One of my favorite ways to equip parents is to organize small gatherings that focus on educating parents on specific topics. For example, I led an excellent 4-week spiritual parenting class last year at our church called It Starts at Home (great video and small group curriculum, by the way).
There are numerous topics that you could cover in a parenting class! One of my favorite events to host is an annual Parent Summit event, where a special speaker (from outside the church) shares about a specific parenting topic, such as parenting and technology, parenting and finances, parenting in a sexualized culture, etc. Regardless of the format(s) you choose, holding some type of parenting education session can be very helpful for parents in your church.
5. Family Serve Opportunities: An easy way to equip parents in your church is to provide them with opportunities for their families to serve together. Find current outreach opportunities in your church that families can do together, or perhaps do some research for opportunities in your local community. Some non-profit ministries have these opportunities, but you may have to contact them directly to find out about them. Find ways for families to serve together, then clearly communicate those opportunities to the rest of your church.
With a little bit of effort and intentionality, you can make a great impact and equip the parents in your church with resources and opportunities for spiritual parenting.
What other recommendations would you add to the list? Share them in the comments section!